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Blazing Trails and Finding Grit: One DACA Recipient’s Journey to Account Director

Salesforce Careers

October 05, 2023

Salesforce Strategic Account Director Tania Thomlison credits her father for teaching her a leadership lesson that still shapes her today.

 

“There’s a saying in Spanish, ‘echale para delante,’ that translates to ‘keep moving forward,’” said Thomlison. “My dad came to the United States with nothing but his skills as a mechanic, work ethic, and hopes of providing opportunities for his family. He really showed me what it means to have grit and keep moving forward.”

 

We sat down with Tania recently to discuss her roots, her career, and how she got to where she is today.


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Tell us about yourself and your career journey.

I was born in Mexico, but grew up in Texas. During college in 2012, I became a DACA recipient and my life completely changed. I finished my degree, making me the first and only person in my family to go to college. Afterward, I joined IBM and then Oracle before completing my MBA from Louisiana State University. I joined Salesforce in January 2021 and officially became a U.S. permanent resident in 2022. In 2023, I moved to Los Angeles with my husband and our two dogs to start an Account Director role.

 

“My dad came to the United States with nothing but his skills as a mechanic, work ethic, and hopes of providing opportunities for his family. He really showed me what it means to have grit and keep moving forward.”

How did you get to where you are today?

Tania Thomlison attended the Salesforce Trailblazing Women Summit.

Growing up undocumented, I didn’t have the same privileges as some of my peers and worked extra hard. English was a new language to me, but I adapted, learned, and overcame many unique challenges.

 

I also had to navigate education on my own, since no one in my family had the opportunity to attend college or work in corporate America. I couldn’t ask for help with my homework, college applications, or drafting a resume. Through college, I worked full time and only took the classes I could afford. It took me six years to complete my undergrad.

 

I’m grateful for this experience because it gave me the resilience and grit to break into corporate America.

What inspired you to pursue a tech career?

I studied Business Administration. During my full-time job in college, I was promoted from receptionist, to accounts receivable, and eventually into sales. I became passionate about solving business challenges, and knew technology would make them faster. So I pursued technology sales.

“I’ve taken calculated risks that terrified me and pursued opportunities where I didn’t feel 100% ready .... I hope whoever reads this is encouraged to be fearless in the pursuit of new opportunities.”

What have been some of your most impactful projects?

I’ve been fortunate to cover two of our larger accounts — one in communications and media, and another in the technology industry.

I’m also involved in the Salesforce Women’s Network, where I help lead Women on Boards — a worldwide initiative that provides resources for women to join boards and gain leadership experience.

I hosted a panel where three women shared their experience serving on Board of Directors that reached people worldwide. We added over 700 women to our Slack channel after that. As a result, we’ve built a community at Salesforce to provide resources for women to find board positions.

Lifting up and empowering other women at Salesforce is part of Tania’s mission as an Account Director.
Lifting up and empowering other women at Salesforce is part of Tania’s mission as an Account Director.

What's one piece of career advice you'll never forget?

A mentor told me to take risks and never wait until I feel ready. This stuck with me throughout my career.

Since then, I’ve taken calculated risks that terrified me and pursued opportunities where I didn’t feel 100% ready. Whenever I’ve stepped up to the plate, it’s paid off. I hope whoever reads this is encouraged to be fearless in the pursuit of new opportunities.

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